French women are damn mad and they're not going to take it any more. So they're suddenly complaining, loudly and lots, about sexism. Complaints against the "casual" sexism many woman have come to accept have rocketed 600% since disgraced former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn was charged with sexually assaulting a Manhattan hotel maid. Female politicians and businesswomen are beginning to speak out against the daily onslaught of sexist remarks they face from colleagues, reports the Independent . "The telephone never stops ringing," said one feminist group being contacted with complaints. "It's as if an invisible barrier has broken."
It wasn't only Strauss-Kahn's arrest that triggered complaints, but the "macho, dismissive" reaction by several male politicians, said Yvette Roudy, France's former women's rights minister. A former male culture minister said Strauss-Kahn should have been immediately released on bail because "no one is dead." A female author recently complained to a Parisian newspaper that when she was summoned to a meeting with a publisher, he insisted she have sex with him. "He said if I refused he would make sure my book was not accepted by any publisher in France," she said.